The first week of the transfer is always the longest, yet the shortest week of them all! Elder Habel and I have had a blast so far, and I have loved being his companion. He has already taught me about the importance of being simple as missionaries, in the short time we have already had.
One thing I have noticed we focus on in our companionship is helping people understand what we expect them to do as a result of our teaching. We try to let people understand our expectations for them, whether we are teaching someone on the streets, in a lesson, or any other setting. We have applied that especially to coming to church. It’s amazing to me how this past week we have brought up church attendance in almost every contact with people, and they are all positive towards the idea! Maybe it’s because everyone (or at least, the majority of people) go to and are comfortable with the idea of church. It has helped me to understand how to be more bold on the streets with people we come into contact with, because I know the blessings that will come as they attend.
I have also seen how much the Lord leads and guides us as missionaries. There have been countless times this past week where we visited someone, and other people have been put in our paths, who we can then talk with. It didn’t make sense to us during our daily planning sessions, but as we were obedient the time was filled with ways of blessings the lives of others! God works in mysterious (and usually higher) ways, all we have to do is have faith, and put our trust in Him. I saw the importance of helping people in their progression of the gospel, rather than only trying to find additional people to teach. I think a lot of it has come from focusing on the Book of Mormon, something we learned last MLC from President Tateoka. We have been marking the Book of Mormon for the things he has asked us to, and I know I have a greater capacity to understand why other people need to feel the converting power behind it. In the past week, I feel like our investigators have progressed more towards baptism. Some of them it has been small steps, and others maybe not so small. I’m grateful the Lord has helped me learn a lot of the principles of patience this week, so I can continue to help those we work with progress even quicker in the future!
It’s also been a week of fun experiences! I’ll share just a few:
Elder Habel’s first street contact in Salem 1st went like this: we started talking to two younger guys outside their house working on their car one morning. We got to know them by asking questions, and started talking with them about the Book of Mormon. Just after we brought up the Book of Mormon, and how much it has blessed our lives, a man walked up to the four of us and jumped into our conversation with “the Book of Mormon isn’t true! They’re lying!” We learned quickly he was a former member of the church, and now has strong feelings in opposition to the things we believe. The cool part was what immediately followed. The two guys we were talking with totally defended our beliefs, and after a minute or two, asked the guy to leave. We just stood there, and watched! The man did try throwing a couple questions our way, but we just told him we don’t argue with people because it causes contention. After he left, the two guys we were originally talking with were more receptive than at the beginning of the conversation, and accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon! We’re not sure if anything will come of it, but it was a great experience that helped us become united as a companionship!
We had just gotten into the car again to drive to the next section of our area, and we saw a group of three people walking on the sidewalk, near where we were. We drove up next to them, and tried to talk to them about the gospel, from across the street. The man of the group jogged across the road, and started talking with us. Long story short, we introduced ourselves as the missionaries, and he thought we needed help getting to the nearest LDS meetinghouse... It turns out he is from Moldova, so that’s where the miscommunication happened. His English was super good! We sat in the car for 10 minutes while this nice Christlike man pulled up the directions, address, and phone number for the building and ward we meet at. I laughed so hard afterwards. It made me smile just thinking we were trying to share the gospel with him, and he was just trying to help us find our building!
I love 3 Nephi 18:32, where Christ is teaching the Nephites. He declares “come into me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal [you].” that’s what we are doing as we share the gospel with our brothers and sisters. We are helping them come into Christ, so they may feel of His love, and experience His healing. I testify Christ is the master healer, and that everything He touches truly does stay remedied.